TWO groups say research shows Worcestershire County Council's plans to cut street lighting in some side streets will make residents feel less safe.

The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (NHWN) and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust say they spoke to almost 16,000 people across the country.

Of those who had seen street lighting switched off or dimmed in their area, 55.8 per cent of the women and 38.8 per cent of men said that their community now feels less safe.

Last October, Worcestershire County Council revealed plans to cut street lighting in some side streets between midnight and 6am, with the cabinet set to consider the proposal in February.

“The main aim behind the Neighbourhood and Home Watch movement is to help people feel safe where they live, and appropriate levels of street lighting contribute to that," said Jim Maddan, chair of NHWN.

"Most people do appreciate the need for cost savings by local authorities but it is important that residents are consulted to find out how they feel about crime, safety and lighting levels in their neighbourhood.

The move, mirrored in counties across the country, has already been criticised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), which says it will put people at risk.